Travel startup Qiito unveils a Taiwanese twist to online bed-and-breakfast booking
March 15, 2013 by Terence LEE
Qiito, a Singapore-based travel discovery and planning site, has become a popular destination for travelers seeking information about destinations. The platform, which crowdsources photos and tips about places of interest from users, claims it has more than a million monthly unique visitors — with most of them coming from Singapore, followed by United States and Taiwan.
Now, the company hopes to build on its hard-won traffic by launching a new bed-and-breakfast booking feature which will allow users to book from a selection of over 200 ‘minsu’ places — the Taiwanese equivalent of bed-and-breakfast — on the website (although only about 116 are available for now). Japanese hotels are also available for reservations.
“Taiwan’s minsu is strongly unique and original based on individual themes and location. These themes range from fairy-tale concepts to natural hot springs, farms, beaches and more,” explains Pei-Han Chuang, founder of Qiito and a Taiwanese native.
Qiito’s move is interesting because its booking feature puts it in the category of online travel bnb booking sites like Airbnb, Roomorama, and 9flats. But while Qiito arrived later than these other setups, it can leverage on its existing userbase to get bookings.
With the addition of minsu booking, Qiito is also signaling that it has begun focusing on generating revenues. Its income stream would be derived from accommodation reservations, advertising through on-site banners and advertisements, as well as promotion listings.
As such, we can expect more initiatives from Qiito like what it did recently: The startup partnered with budget airline Scoot and the tourism boards from Taiwan and Japan to offer promotional prices for flights and accommodation.
Despite having secured a hefty USD 1.75M in early stage funding from Luna Asia Investments, the company has wasted no time in trying to monetize its traffic. If it succeeds, it could secure a substantial venture capital round soon.
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About The Author
Terence LEE - Editor
Terence writes mainly about technology trends and startups in Asia. He believes in crafting smart content: Not just a regurgitation of text, but well thought-out pieces that serve the reader using a combination of data, design, narratives, analysis, and visual impact. His articles have been published on Venturebeat, Yahoo!, Straits Times, Today, and The Online Citizen. He also co-founded NewNation.sg, a satirical news site covering Singapore affairs. Engage him on LinkedIn and Twitter.Read other posts by Terence LEE